Christopher Bell wins abbreviated Coca-Cola 600, Kyle Larson's double attempt foiled by rain

christopher bell wins abbreviated coca-cola 600, kyle larson's double attempt foiled by rain

NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) is awarded the win in the rain shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

All the buzz leading up to NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday was about the day Kyle Larson had ahead of him, attempting to become the first driver since Kurt Busch in 2014 to run the 600 after running the Indianapolis 500 earlier on the same day.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans.

First, Indianapolis was hit by rain and the 500's start was delayed by four hours, meaning Larson would be unable to make it to North Carolina in time to start the 600.

Justin Allgaier would pilot his No. 5 car in relief as Larson ran inside the top 10 for most of the afternoon at the Brickyard, but sped on pit road late and finished 18th — by which point the 600 was already underway.

Allgaier put in a solid effort, steadily improving throughout the race and marching his way up to 13th before Larson arrived at the track. Unfortunately, he brought the rain with him, and NASCAR was forced to red flag the event on Lap 250 of its scheduled 400 circuits.

Despite the track drying crew's best efforts, the humidity would not go away and the event was deemed official, without Larson completing a single lap.

Christopher Bell was credited with the win, having been leading at the time the race was put on hold. Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by William Byron (who made a highlight reel-worthy three-wide pass on the track's apron just before the stoppage), Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin.

Bell had led 90 of the 249 laps completed, the most of any driver.

It was a disappointing end to the greatest day in motorsports on multiple levels. It's never fun when a race isn't able to be completed to its full distance, and that's especially the case when the race in question is the longest one on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a long-standing tradition to attempt to upstage Indy with a grueling 600-mile marathon. This one didn't even go 400.

It only adds insult to injury that Mother Nature had to rain on the Memorial Day parade of perhaps the most exciting driver in all of motorsports, on perhaps the biggest day of his career.

Even had Larson been able to finish out the 600, he would have been awarded no points due to failing to start the race and will now need a waiver to be playoff-eligible. He'd have been racing solely for the purpose of putting on a show, and he didn't even get to do that.

On the bright side, though? He'll try again next year.

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